Clinical trial rebounds in times of COVID-19

May 25 2020

Professor Coralie English and team have adapted to COVID-19, and this current trial reflects that. She explains how the i-REBOUND trial is looking at providing expert support for exercise (moving more) and diet (eating well) after stroke.

All telehealth based, this trial was designed that way all along to ensure equity of access – anyone can participate no matter where they live in Aus with no need for face-to-face assessments.

We have good evidence that moving enough and eating well – particularly getting enough fruit and veg or following a Mediterranean-style diet will reduce your risk of stroke, but achieving these changes is not easy. Everyone needs support, and even more so if you have had a stroke.

This trial links up experts (physios or exercise physiologists for the exercise arm, dietitians for the dietary arm) with people with stroke in their own home. Key equipment (eg activity monitors to measure movement, blood pressure and heart rate monitors), diet starter packs (hampers) will be mailed to participants

The interventions, and even the name of the trial, were developed in partnership with people with stroke to make sure they will be suitable.

Since the pandemic, fortunately we haven’t had to change much of our processes – we are just operating out of our homes rather than HMRI. We have taken all the essential trial equipment to the home of Margy Galloway (trial manager) – so the local Boat Harbour post office has increased its business substantially – Margy can watch the whales migrating out her window while screening participants for eligibility!

The trial intervention staff (2 PhD candidates) are conducting the intervention sessions by telehealth from their homes – Karly Zacharia in Bar Beach and Emily Ramage from Melbourne (both in between home schooling kids – expert multi taskers are they are!)

As a team we have regular catch ups – usually including a coffee – over zoom. (pictured)

Find out more information on the study here